Marco Muzzo still doesn’t get it.

He killed three children and their grandfather by driving drunk with almost three times the legal limit in his system, but he doesn’t think he has a problem with alcohol.

Getting into his Jeep after a night of heavy boozing at his Miami hotel and another four Caesars on the private plane ride back home was just a one off, a “spur of the moment” decision.

“I took a chance, not realizing the others I would hurt,” he said.

“I’ve done a horrible thing. I’ve shattered a family.”

As remorseful as he appears, it’s that lack of insight into his drinking — he actually said it would take “eight or nine” drinks before he’d be impaired — that led to the surprising decision by the Parole Board of Canada Wednesday to deny him day parole as well as full parole in six months.

Instead, he’ll have to remain in the Beaver Creek minimum security institution and wait another year before he can apply again.

“You sabotaged your progress by underestimating the seriousness of your problem,” panel member Kevin Corcoran told him.

Unlike the rest of us, Muzzo didn’t seem shocked by the rejection.

As a first time offender who had otherwise lived an upstanding life and had the backing of his wealthy family, many predicted Muzzo, 32, would handily convince a parole board to release him after he’d served one third of his precedent-setting ten year sentence for causing the deaths of Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, brother Harrison, 5, and sister Millagros, 2, and their grandfather Gary Neville, 65, in the horrific 2015 crash.

His parole officer was fully behind his release and a halfway house had agreed to take him.

But the children’s grief-stricken mother had spearheaded a community effort to send letters to the board and there was a petition now topping 16,000 signatures to keep Muzzo in prison.

Corcoran began the hearing by acknowledging the community anger at the high-profile drunk driving case but reminded everyone that the panel’s job was to assess the risk posed by Muzzo if he were released, not to make an example of him.

Still, all eyes were on the panel and so the questioning was polite but tough.

Muzzo didn’t help his case by waffling on his drinking habits.

He painted his Miami bachelor party that fateful weekend as “timid” with the guys just lying around a pool except for that last night. He wouldn’t admit that his urinating himself and barely being able to stand after T-boning the family’s minivan was because he was drunk rather than in shock.

Corcoran kept returning to why he hadn’t sought out any kind of substance abuse counselling while in prison. Muzzo said he’d attended AA while at Joyceville but he and the inmate running the group concluded it wasn’t the right fit.

“I firmly believe I’m not an addict,” he insisted.

Corcoran wondered if Muzzo underestimated the severity of his problem.

“To a small degree,” was all he’d acknowledge.

And then came the surprising follow-up question: why had Muzzo never told anyone that he’d been jailed briefly for public intoxication three years before causing the deadly collision?

The incident had only recently come to their attention: Muzzo and a friend began fighting with a bouncer after being denied entry to a Vaughan strip club in 2012.

When arrested, he was “belligerent and rude” to police and tried to kick out the cruiser windows.

Muzzo claimed to have forgotten about it.

“Yeah, I’m an idiot, I did a few things in my past. It was an isolated incident,” he struggled to explain.

“It’s somebody I wasn’t.”

Not so, interjected Corcoran. It’s the same person who got behind the wheel after drinking and killed four people. The same person who admits to driving impaired a “small handful” of times in the past.

And the same person, he added, who accumulated 10 tickets over 12 years of driving, eight of them for speeding — and most of those obviously bumped down by police so he wouldn’t get demerit points.

“You’ve gotten a lot of breaks from the police,” Corcoran noted. “There isn’t a consequence.”

But now there is: another year without freedom.

Tragically, three little children and their grandfather had to die for Muzzo to finally bear the consequences of his reckless actions.

Source: Sudbury Star


Last updated on: 2019-01-21 | Link to this post